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Sales tax holiday for outdoors expected to be big business

Bobby Nance, left, and Tim Wood look over a shotgun for sale at the Central Alabama Farmers Cooperative. (File Photo | Times-Journal)

Bobby Nance, left, and Tim Wood look over a shotgun for sale at the Central Alabama Farmers Cooperative. (File Photo | Times-Journal)

For those looking for great deals on items needed for storm and hurricane preparedness, traditionally use Alabama’s sales tax holiday in late February.

For those looking for great deals on items needed for the upcoming school year, traditionally use Alabama’s sales tax holiday each August.

But, for those who spend thousands of dollars in getting ready for each deer season in Alabama, there isn’t a sales tax holiday on the calendar.

That’s not the case when it comes to those who live in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Friday marks the beginning of Mississippi’s sales tax holiday covering items including ammunition, firearms, scopes and other certain hunting supplies. Mississippi already had a sales tax holiday in late July for school items and clothes, but this marks the first year for the hunting sales tax holiday.

“I think that is a really interesting idea,” Tim Wood, with the Central Alabama Farmers Co-Op, said. “I had not heard of that, but it will be interesting to see how successful it is.”

Wood said a similar sales tax holiday in Alabama could be successful, but would depend on the perfect timing.

“I would think it would work well if it were closer to the start of rifle season,” Wood said, referring to the mid-November start of the use of rifles in hunting deer. “I don’t think it would mean as much any earlier.”

But, Wood also isn’t sure a tax holiday will happen in Alabama.

“It would be a big deal in this area because of how big hunting is here,” Wood said. “But I am not sure if the state will approve another sales tax holiday weekend.”

State Rep. Darrio Melton backed up Wood’s uncertainty.

“I don’t think the state could afford to lose any more tax revenue,” Melton said. “We are having a hard time as it is in generating tax revenue.”

Melton said his support or lack of support for any holiday would come down to job creation.

“We need to be focused on those measures that create jobs,” Melton said. “If an idea such as this would create jobs in the Black Belt, then it would be something to consider.”

Melton, who was also unaware of Mississippi’s holiday, said he would look into the particulars of the program.

The start of Louisiana’s hunting sales tax holiday, which they call the Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Sales Tax Holiday, also begins Friday and continues through Sunday.